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Memorial Day starts the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers

Many of us enjoyed a relaxing and fun Memorial Day holiday. Whether people were heading out to cabins or just relaxing in town, the holiday weekend is often considered to be the beginning of summer. However, while many people are looking forward to the warm weather, vacations and summer events, it might be important to keep in mind that the summer can also be a time of serious car accidents in Illinois.

In fact, the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day have been called the 100 deadliest days of the year, particularly in relation to teenage drivers. It is during this time period that thousands of people are injured or killed in car accidents involving teen drivers. Motorists and parents across Springfield may want to remember this as they or their children head out on the roads this summer.

During the summer weeks, it is much more likely to see teenagers behind the wheel. They are out of school, staying out later and are more active during the day, meaning that they are often hanging out together and driving. And despite graduated license laws in Illinois, which place certain restrictions on teen licenses, young people can end up causing or contributing to a serious accident.

Many of these accidents are the result of distraction. Drivers of any age are susceptible to distraction behind the wheel, but teens in particular can get distracted by situations such as having passengers in their car. Unlike the distraction of a cellphone, distraction by passengers can last for much longer than a few seconds. The excitement, noise and activity of others can result in loss of attention, especially when a driver is young, immature and inexperienced. According to reports, teens with passengers in the car are at a 44 percent higher risk of getting into a fatal crash.

Whether a person is heading into work or out of town this summer, he or she may be at a higher risk of getting in an accident with a driver who is distracted, inexperienced or both. If this happens, victims should remember that they have the right to speak with an attorney to hold the negligent party, which may include the teen and his or her parents, accountable.

Source: Fox 2 Now, "Parents, beware: These are the 100 deadliest days for teens," May 30, 2014

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